Local players compete in State Legion baseball championship

 Mike Mageles of Bridgton, a 2013 graduate of Lake Region High School, and Matt Beauchesne of Harrison, a 2014 graduate of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, recently competed with their team, Bessey Motors, in the championship round of the Maine State American Legion Baseball Tournament at Winkin Baseball Complex in Bangor.

Bessey Motors is a team based in South Paris and is made up of players from the Oxford Hills and Lake Region areas, as well as St. Dom’s High School in Auburn.

The tournament was comprised of 10 teams from across the five regional zones of the state, and featured Maine’s elite baseball players ages 15-19.

Bessey Motors won five tournament games to earn a chance at the state title.

Mageles, a left-hand pitcher, threw three complete games in the short span of one week. In the first game against Saco Fayette Staples, he led his team to an 11–1 win, which was shortened to eight innings by the 10-run mercy rule. His next outing, he handed the Brewer Falcons their first loss, shutting them out with a score of 4-0, garnering seven strikeouts.

Beauchesne, who plays shortstop, was key to the Bessey Motors successful defense, which only committed four errors the entire week. He was impressive, making impossible diving catches in critical moments, including administering a snag off Mageles’ glove with a beautiful 1-6-4-3 play in their shutout against Brewer. Beauchesne’s shining moment was a crucial walk-off RBI single up the left field line, which coincidentally sent Mageles over the plate, lifting his team to a 4–3 win over Post 51 of Oakland and sending Bessey into the championship round.

In the championship game, Bessey Motors faced the Bangor Comrades, a team made up entirely of players from the 2014 Maine State Class A High School champion team. Mageles faced off against Trevor DeLaite for five innings, as well as tourney MVP Andrew Hillier the remaining four frames. Mageles dueled DeLaite and Hillier for six scoreless innings until Bangor hit a double, which opened the door for an eventual Comrade victory and tournament championship by a 2–0 score.

Bessey Motors finished the season as Maine State American Legion runners-up with a record of 22–5. Mageles was named to the American Legion State All Tournament Team as a pitcher.

The success of this tournament is bittersweet for these two athletes. Mike and Matt have been playing baseball together since they started out in 12-year-old All Stars, eventually becoming best friends. This Legion season ends their time playing together as they have now aged out of the program. In the fall, Mike will be returning for his second year of playing baseball for the Southern Maine Community College Seawolves, and Matt will be heading to Boston College as a freshman.

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